Every child needs an opportunity to learn the hymn, The Spirit of God! This beloved hymn will have every child singing and moving thanks to some amazing Sharla Dance moves! They’ll also learn a little bit of history about the dedication of the Kirtland temple where this hymn was sung!
I LOVE using Sharla Dance actions when teaching these upbeat hymns in singing time! I used her actions when I taught Praise to the Man HERE (when my original lesson plan flopped!) and they were an absolute hit!
And lucky me, Sharla Dance taught The Spirit of God at a recent workshop I attended! I’m excited to be using her actions again in both Jr. and Sr. primary!
When teaching hymns, I always start with the chorus! The chorus is typically what we want the kids to remember the most from the song. It also repeats the most often so definitely start here!
Sharla Dance demonstrates what she calls “action-word actions” to the chorus of The Spirit of God at 1:14:20 into the video HERE:
Once you’ve mastered the actions yourself (I know that’s a feat in and of itself!), teach it to your primary just like Sharla does. Have the kids mimic you as you and the teachers sing along.
They will do their best to follow you the first time through. Then break it down as Sharla does. Define the various actions like “lamb” and “glory” asking why these actions seem appropriate for that particular word.
Once you’ve got the chorus actions down, add some scarves to glam it all up! Totally optionally but totally fun!! I’ve got links to where I purchase scarves in my Shop HERE.
I recommend only teaching the 1st verse of hymns. Hymns tend to be long and wordy, especially with Jr. primary. But if Sr. primary is up to the challenge, pass out hymn books and lead them like a real choir!
Another of Sharla Dance’s methods for teaching in singing time are story songs. In a nutshell, story songs tell a story interspersed with sections of the song. The Spirit of God has such wonderful church history behind it so why not tell the story as you sing this hymn?
The Spirit of God Story
Latter-day Saints were familiar with “The Spirit of God” before the dedication of the Kirtland Temple on March 27, 1836, but it was during this event that the hymn gained a new level of sacred significance.
A thousand people stood outside the temple an hour before the doors even opened, anxious to see the Lord’s first holy house dedicated in this dispensation … Joseph Smith gave the historic dedicatory prayer and The Spirit of God was sung.
During the dedication and these sacred experiences, Latter-day Saints testified of seeing angels crowning the temple, of hearing heavenly voices that pierced their hearts, of speaking in tongues or revealing incredible prophecies, and of witnessing healings, miracles, and visions.
Many began to speak in tongues and prophesy; others saw glorious visions; … The people of the neighborhood [saw] bright light like a pillar of fire resting upon the Temple, and were astonished at what was taking place” (History of the Church, 2:428).
As you read each paragraph, display various images of events that occurred in the Kirtland temple:
I have these images saved in my Resource Library. Access my printables at my Resource Library. Instructions for accessing my Resource Library are found at the bottom of this post.
In between each paragraph, sing each phrase of the 1st verse:
The Spirit of God like a fire is burning!
The latter-day glory begins to come forth;
The visions and blessings of old are returning,
And angels are coming to visit the earth.
Once you have read and sung through the entire story song, or even after each phrase/page, do the actions for the chorus (if you need to break up the monotony).
Bear testimony that the restoration of the gospel is a great reason to sing and to shout hosanna! Heavenly Father, Jesus and angels continue to give revelation to us today.
Make sure to check out more 2021 music for singing time lesson plans HERE.
All my printables are free and filed on my Resource Library. Filing instructions for accessing each printable on my Resource Library are below the button.
These printables are filed on my Resource Library page under Song Title > The Spirit of God.